Jon H. Gutmacher, Esq.

Orlando Criminal Defense Lawyer

Former Prosecutor & Police Legal Advisor,

Author: "Florida Firearms -- Law, Use & Ownership",

NRA Certified Firearms Instructor,

NRA Referral Attorney.

JON H. GUTMACHER, P.A.: Orlando Criminal Trial Attorney Services

Carrying a Concealed Firearm (CCF) or Carrying a Concealed Weapon (CCW):

Concealed Weapons Attorney Orlando, FL - Jon H. Gutmacher:

Unless you have a Concealed Weapons Permit (CWP) carrying a concealed firearm other than on your own property or the property of your business is a third degree felony in Florida punishable by up to five years imprisonment. [Florida Statute 790.01]. A similar provision applies to other weapons that are not firearms, however, the punishment is a first degree misdemeanor. The most common arrest for carrying a concealed firearm in Florida is when a hand gun is placed under a seat in a car without the hand gun being placed inside a snapped holster. This is generally against the law because the firearm is not “securely encased”.

For an in depth discussion of what is or is not “securely encased”, and other defenses, I highly recommend my book: "Florida Firearms – Law, Use & Ownership". It can be ordered off my website, and the book is also available thru many gun shops and gun ranges in Florida. It should answer all your questions on this subject.

The most important exception to the crime of carrying a concealed firearm or carrying a concealed weapon occurs when you are in a private vehicle, so long as you are 18 years of age, or older. In that case Florida law usually allows the weapon or firearm to be legally kept ‘securely encased" in the vehicle, although there are some exceptions. The simplest and most common definition of "securely encased" means it is in a holster or gun rug that is snapped, zipped, or strapped, or in a box or container with a closed lid or top so that the lid or top must be physically opened in order to use or fire the weapon. Securely encased would also allow the firearm or weapon to be placed inside a closed glove compartment or closed console of a vehicle. The firearm may be fully loaded at the time, however, it cannot be concealed on your person unless you also have a CWP.

Another exception to concealed carry is that you may legally carry a Taser or other non-lethal electronic defensive weapon, or a self-defense chemical spray that does not contain more than two ounces of chemical either open or concealed anywhere other than school grounds, school bus stops, school buses, many government buildings and facilities, and some government offices even if in a private building. I also wouldn’t try taking them inside an airport although it is currently legal to have them securely encased inside your vehicle the parking garage of a commercial airport. You can also keep a firearm on your person either concealed or open inside your home or business. If you take it outside, it gets a little complicated, and may or may not be legal depending on many different circumstances.

As a general rule – I think there are a number of very good defenses to this charge that may be unknown to both police and laymen, alike. Also – many police officers unfortunately lack proper training in this area, and I’ve handled quite a few cases where the arrest was made based on the mistaken belief of the officer that the conduct was illegal – when it actually was completely legal. In some of those cases, once the criminal charges were disposed of, we were even able to obtain civil damages for false arrest because the mistake was so clear cut.

If you are in a situation where you are about to be arrested for "legally" carrying a hand gun, other firearm, knife, or some other weapon because the police officer is mistaken about the law – my advise is to politely advise the officer that you thought you were acting legally, and you believed that your conduct was legal. Ask him or her if they would please contact a supervisor to check on it before completing the arrest. Don’t threaten them with legal action or a formal complaint! This will only make matters worse. If all this fails, Mr. Gutmacher has handled these cases throughout the State of Florida, and would be happy to discuss representing you.

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